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Technical Writing Certificate - Online

Are you interested in getting a job or launching your own business as a technical writer? Do you work in a technical field and want to advance your writing skills? Are you interested in getting feedback on your writing from an OSU writing instructor?

Our online Technical Writing Certificate is designed to help you build targeted skills through a series of courses that each focus on a specific skillset.

Take any of the technical writing courses individually to gain just the training you need or complete the series to earn your certificate and launch your technical writing career!

Close up of April Ponto sitting at her deskPast Technical Writing student, April Ponto, went from barely covering her expenses to doubling her salary. Read her story here.


What is Technical Writing?

Technical Writing Certificate

The online Technical Writing Certificate series includes the following component courses, which may be taken together or individually:

  1. Technical Writing Course: Free Introduction (self-paced)
  2. Technical Writing Course: Manuals - Instructions and Overviews
  3. Technical Writing Course: Technical Editing - SOPs and Flowcharts
  4. Technical Writing Course: Single-Sourcing and Methodology
  5. Technical Writing Course: Usability and User-Centered Design
  6. Technical Writing Course: Portfolio Creation

Please note that the Free Intro to Technical Writing class is self-paced and not required to receive a certificate. If you are new to technical writing, it is recommended that you complete this course and also take the other courses in the order outlined here.

Learn How to Become a Technical Writer

In these targeted courses, you’ll build knowledge and skills to help you:

  • Write clearly, correctly, and concisely.
  • Understand technical writing as a practice distinct from other forms of writing.
  • Use professional technical writing conventions of clean and clear design, style, and layout of written materials.
  • Create document layouts that are accessible and aid end-user experience.
  • Incorporate feedback and notes into editing and revision processes.
  • Understand UX design and why it’s important for technical writing documents.
  • Identify your target audience and craft a document that resonates with that audience.

In each class you will walk away with a technical writing document that you have produced. In the Portfolio Creation course, you will build this portfolio through a WordPress site, allowing you to showcase your work to potential employers.

Resources for Success

To succeed in this course, you will need reliable internet access, an up-to-date web browser, speakers/headphones, and word processing software (such as Microsoft Word or Open Office).
In lieu of a traditional textbook, we have curated an extensive collection of resources from around the web which will be available to you through Canvas.
Multiple dates
price (2)
Full Certificate: $2,495 (+$60 registration fee)
Individual Technical Writing Courses: $499 (+$60 registration fee, per course)
Additional Information:
16 CEUs | 160 Hours

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Ask us about Team Training. We can customize this program to fit your organization's specific needs.

Technical Writing Course
Start Dates

Manuals: Instructions and Overviews

Summer 2024
July 22 - August 18, 2024
Fall 2024
September 30 - October 27, 2024
Winter 2025
January 6 - February 2, 2025

Technical Editing: SOPs and Flowcharts

Summer 2024
July 22 - August 18, 2024
Fall 2024
November 4 - December 1, 2024
Winter 2025
January 6 - February 2, 2025

Single-Sourcing and Methodology

Fall 2024
September 30 - October 27, 2024
Winter 2025
January 6 - February 2, 2025
February 10 - March 9, 2025

Usability and UX Design

Fall 2024
September 30 - October 27, 2024
November 4 - December 1, 2024
Winter 2024
February 10 - March 9, 2025

Technical Writing Portfolio Creation

Summer 2024
July 22 - August 18, 2024
Fall 2024
November 4 - December 1, 2024
Winter 2025
February 10 - March 9, 2025
Question: Does the Online Technical Writing training program require the courses be taken in a specific order? ~ Sheri. L.
Answer: You can take the first four core technical writing courses in any order. If you are new to technical writing, it is recommended that you take the courses in the order listed on the webpage. Please note that you must complete all four core courses prior to beginning the Portfolio Creation course.
Question: What are the device and software requirements for the technical writing training? ~ Amy K.

The online technical writing courses don’t focus intensely on any specific tools in this program. Rather, the focus is on the writing itself and how to produce high-quality technical writing. This isn’t to say that the course does not discuss the common tools that are used, but rather it does not spend time training on them.

Question: I'm interested in the online certificate in technical writing, but first I have a question. Are the projects self contained, or will I need to find people to collaborate with? For example, will I need to interview someone about a task or process? ~ David W.

The projects in the online Technical Writing program are self-contained, you will not need to collaborate for group work or to find an external individual to work with.

Question: I'm interested in the Technical Writing Certificate but reside in MN. Could you please provide me with costs for out-of-state? Thanks! ~ Julia F.

The Technical Writing program costs the same regardless of where you are from. And there are no restrictions on location, so you can complete this certificate anywhere in the world.

Question: I was hoping to find out if any assignments or weekly course requirements would need to be completed on specific days or within specific time constraints. I am interested in this course but often work in the evening or mid morning. Is this course beneficial for someone who has no experience in the field but would like to begin building a career as a technical writer? ~ Patrick B.

The technical writing series is entirely asynchronous, which means there are no specific dates or times when you need to be online and there are no live meetings. There are assignments due weekly that can be completed at any time during the week prior to their due date.

Newcomers to the technical writing field are welcome and encouraged to complete the certificate program. If you are brand new to technical writing, it is recommended you take the free, self-paced Intro to Tech Writing course first.

Question: What is the format of the technical writing certification? I understand it is online, but is it asynchronous? Will I have the opportunity to submit assignments and receive feedback. ~ Paula S.

The online Technical Writing Certificate is entirely asynchronous, which means there are no specific dates or times when you need to be online and there are no live meetings. There are assignments due weekly that can be completed at any time during the week prior to their due date.

Question: How long does it take to complete these technical writing courses? What are the program requirements? ~ Sara V.

Each Technical Writing Course is four weeks long, and there are five courses in the program. However, the courses do not typically run back-to-back, so you will not be in class for 20 weeks straight. Students typically finish this program in a little under a year and gain their certificate in technical writing.

 Anyone is welcome to join the program and there are no prerequisites. All you must do to participate is register.

Question: I see a number of courses listed, but it is not clear which course are required & which are electives. ~ John P.

All five courses are required to receive your certificate in technical writing. You are not required to take all the courses in the series, but you must complete all of them to earn the certificate. Please note that you may not take the Portfolio course until after you have completed the four core courses.

Question: Hello, our organization would like to enroll four of our team members in your accredited technical writing courses. Can you confirm if there is a cutoff date or class limit for enrollment? ~ Richard L.

Due to the technical writing program's popularity, we typically extend the registration date for a week after the course begins. However, once each course reaches capacity, the registration window effectively closes. 

Question: Good afternoon, is this program offered independently for individuals who are not seeking a degree? I have a BA and am just looking for a certificate to supplement it. ~ Rylea D.

This certificate program is a non-credit program. Though it is taught by OSU instructors, a degree is not needed to register. So, even though a degree is not needed, it can be ideal for someone looking to supplement their degree.

Question: Can I use my AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for the Certificate in Tech Writing? ~ R.H
Answer: Yes. You can use your AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for OSU's Technical Writing Certificate.

"I definitely feel more confident about technical writing after deciding to take this course. Technical writing is an important field of communication that should not be neglected by anyone wishing to broaden their skills in today's high-tech work place. The class is presented in a clear, straight-forward and professional manner. Kudos to Rich Collins for his ability to make a specialized field of writing accessible to anyone."

M. D. Blessing

"The instructor was awesome. She replied promptly to my inquiries and was always ready to help with any problems. Her grading was quick and almost immediate. helpful"

Wesley Ramlakhan

"This course was great - I really, really enjoyed it. The learning materials were focused and applicable. Best part? I looked forward to the weekly modules and assignments. I felt that I learned something new, could apply it directly to each weekly assignment (reinforcement) and then immediately apply it to the writing I do at work. Adult learners tend to want to know, "What's in it for me?" For me, the fact that the concepts and techniques applied immediately to my job meant a lot. No wasted time; just focused instruction."

Jessica Ginet


Elizabeth Delf

Liz Delf (MA, Oregon State University '11) developed and piloted the Career Preparation for English Majors course in 2017. She teaches writing across the university and beyond, including sections for the Honors College, INTO, the Beijing Normal University Summer Program, and an INTEL Technical Writing Boot Camp. Courses regularly taught at OSU include English Composition, Argumentation, Technical Writing, Writing in Business, and Intro to Literature: Fiction.

Emily Elbom

Emily Elbom is a writing instructor at Oregon State University. Emily has an MA in English from the University of North Dakota and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Oregon State University. Courses regularly taught at OSU include Technical Writing, Technical Writing for English Language Learners, Engineering Specific Technical Writing, Business Writing, Writing for the Media and more.

Erin Dalton

Erin Dalton has a background in technical writing, editing, and instructional design. She holds an MA in Professional Communication and a BA in English. Past courses taught include Technical Editing & Style, Technical & Presentation Writing, Business & Administrative Writing, and Brand Development. She has also developed and facilitated technical communication trainings for engineers and scientists at a Department of Energy national laboratory.

Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.